by Jon, Contributing Editor
After moving to Milan a couple of weeks ago we found it was time to share our favourite spots in Italy’s fashion capital with you! Milan is one of Italy’s most important business centres, not only for the fashion industry but also when it comes to other industries. This makes it an incredibly vibrant and diverse city with an international crowd.
The easiest way to get to Milan is to go with Alitalia. The Italian airline offers flights to every major city inside and outside of Europe.
Staying in Milan
The Straf is located in a 19th century palazzo near Milan’s Scala and Duomo. Vicenzo de Cotiis himself was responsible for the hotel’s clean, modern and minimalistic design which stands in beautiful contrast to the historical look of the palazzo. Carefully including industrial elements in the design, the Straf is a unique work of art and perfect for a stay in Milan.
Another hotel we love in Milan is the Palazzo Parigi, which we have visited a few years ago and which has still not lost anything of it’s warm Parisian vibe.
If you are looking for a more elegant, yet modern and contemporary design you might want to have a look at VIU Milan, a recently opened hotel between Corso Como and Gae Aulenti. The view from the rooftop terrace is simply breathtaking.
Hotel VIU Milano, Via Aristotele Fioravanti, 6, 20154 Milano, © Hotel VIU Milano/Screengrab
Where to dine & drink
We love the moment of the fresh breeze engulfing us as the sun starts to rise and warms the air while we enjoy our morning coffee and breakfast at Milan’s Radio Rooftop Bar. Originally from London, the Milanese version combines Londond’s urbanity and coolness with Italian flair. Not only for breakfast, but also for meetings or afterwork drinks, Radio Rooftop Bar is one of our favourite places to hang out.
Iconicly Milanese is Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone, probably the most famous restaurant established in 1957. It is ideal for a light lunch (do not forget the desserts) while strolling along the Milanese streets. If you are very lucky you might get a table outside with the soft sunlight peaking in the fresco courtyard.
Il Salumaio di Montenapoleone, Via Santo Spirito, 10, 20121 Milano
The best place for drinks is Ceresio 7 by the design duo Dsquard2. On top of the fashion house’s headquarters, you will have an amazing view above Milan. Not only famous for that, the cuisine offers reinterpretations of traditional cuisine with modern twists, for example the linguini with lobster.
If you prefer to stay on the ground we would suggest the beautiful Carlo e Camilla in Segheria. Located in an old industrial building the design balances on a thin line between clean, industrial backgrounds, classic and opulent details.
Milan’s Art & Culture
Milan offers an incredible diversity of art museums, galleries, theatres and of course the famous opera. The Mueso del Novecento is dedicated to showcasing 20th century artists in different exhibitions. Currently, Andy Warhol’s Sixty Last Suppers is presented until the 18th of May.
One of the most interesting galleries for contemporary art, photography and fashion is the Galleria Carla Sozzani, located in the 10 Corso Como. Sozzani curates and presents the work of aspiring as well as established artists.
Classic Fashion houses and upcoming designers – shopping in Milan
When it comes to the classic Italian high end fashion houses, the Quadrilatero d’Oro for sure is the place to be, especially via Monte Napoleone.
Carla Sozzani, former editor-in-chief of Italian Elle and Vogue Italia’s special issues, did not only found Galleria Carla Sozzani but also 10 Corso Como, Milan’s first concept store. Strolling around the complex you can find yourself discovering upcoming designers and artists or having a coffee on the rooftop garden.
Every last Sunday of the months, the banks of Naviglio Grande turn into one of Milan’s most beautiful vintage markets. Not only will you find sweet gems and memories of your time in Milan but also be wandering around this timeless and intimate part of the city.
Aside from other cities, where modern buildings, vibes and areas simply remove old and established places, you will experience the exact opposite here. Something new will most likely only be accepted if it had been based on something established.